Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Dad's Army actor Bill Pertwee dies

Comedian and actor Bill Pertwee has died aged 86

Bill Pertwee, best known for playing grumpy air raid warden Hodges in Dad's Army, has died. He was 86.

The actor, who was known for his frequent cry of "Put that light out!" in the classic 1970s comedy, died peacefully in a Cornwall hospital with his family.

His son, Jonathan, 46, paid tribute to his father, saying: "He was very loved by everyone that knew him. I think he'd like to be remembered as someone who had a good go and loved the people he was around. He was never short of offering help to other people, he was always happy to help other people out."

Pertwee received many awards for his acting and comedy, including an MBE in June 2007 for his charity work and entertainment services and a Comic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The actor was also the subject of This is your Life in 1999.

Although he was best known for his roles in the Bafta award-winning Dad's Army, Pertwee also performed in an opera, pantomimes and the 2010 World Cup song.

The actor appeared in You Rang M'Lord? as well as three Carry On films: Carry On Loving (1970), Carry On At Your Convenience (1971) and Carry On Girls (1973).

Pertwee and Roy Hudd starred in their first pantomime together in the 1950s and over the years Pertwee worked with Spike Milligan, Kenneth Williams, George Burns and Sammy Davis Junior. Pertwee was also a skilled impressionist and was in more than 1,000 radio broadcasts for BBC comedy programmes Round the Horne and Beyond our Ken.

Pertwee, who had been living at High Point Lodge Residential home in Wadebridge, Cornwall, was with his companion Maggie Bourgein, his son Jonathan Pertwee and Jonathan's partner Louise Yarwood at the time of his death. His wife Marion McLeod died on the same date in 2005. He is survived by Jonathan and two grandchildren, aged 15 and 19.

Ms Yarwood said Pertwee was a wonderful grandfather and always there when others needed him. She said: "He was quite a comedian, definitely. He had a great sense of humour. Slightly eccentric with things but fun, just really good fun. He really had a twinkle in his eye even up to this week."

Mr Pertwee said Dad's Army was very important to his father. He said: "He loved it. He loved the people in it, it was a big part of his life and he used to have a lot of fun with Clive and John Le Mesurier and Frank Williams and all of them. They just had a great bond."

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